The Best Anime of Fall 2018

This year’s fall anime season maintains the excitement of the summer, seeing a return to some of the medium’s most beloved franchises and the debut of several intriguing new shows. Continuing anime like Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Sword Art Online have already captivated long-time fans of each respective property with their early episodes. Likewise, entirely new series like Zombieland Saga and Goblin Slayer has managed to attract significant attention. Each show below warrants a viewing, if only to take a small crack at your growing backlog. Hey, we’re not judging.

Fall 2018 Anime – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind

Anime

Photo courtesy of David Production

If you’re into anime, you’ve probably heard that a new season of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure just came out. This franchise has loyal fans for a reason, as there’s no denying that Jojo oozes charm. It helps that each arc in the series is meticulously crafted, offering viewers compelling, over-the-top fight sequences with some of the medium’s most cunning antagonists.

Golden Wind adapts the manga’s fifth arc and stars Giorno Giovanna, an Italian Robin Hood-like hero who attempts to overthrow the local mafia in hopes of redistributing the wealth of the country. He organizes a group of thieves to make his goal possible, instructing his merry band of delinquents to steal from the rich to give to the poor. Giorno may make his dream come true, though fans will have to watch to make sure.

Fall 2018 Anime – Goblin Slayer

Anime

Photo courtesy of White Fox

Goblin Slayer is unapologetically brutal, letting viewers know from the get-go that this isn’t a series for everyone. It successfully instills a sense of immense hatred towards goblins, and even messes with certain characters’ sanity early on. In case this wasn’t already clear, the show is incredibly violent, even by anime standards.

The protagonist, known only as the Goblin Slayer, seeks to eradicate the world of the species he hates by any means necessary. He comes across a young priestess on his journey, the likes of which just saw her group of friends massacred by the creatures. Together the two join several other characters who share a common goal of bringing about the extinction of goblins everywhere.

Slowly but surely, bits of the Slayer’s past come to light, revealing who he truly is underneath all that armor.

Fall 2018 Anime – Zombieland Saga

Anime

Photo courtesy of Studio MAPPA

Zombieland Saga is, at its core, an idol show, but one shouldn’t let that distinction turn them completely away from this anime. Melding addictive melodies with the grim appeal of the zombie genre, this comedy series follows a high school girl named Sakura Minamoto who suddenly (and hilariously) gets killed while running into moving traffic.

She’s resurrected alongside six other girls by a mysterious man named Kotaro Tatsumi in hopes of saving the Saga prefecture from an impending apocalypse. For some reason, an idol group is just what the region needs to survive. Zombieland Saga‘s plot may not make a whole lot of sense, but it does have some pretty awesome rap battles. That warrants a watch in our book.

Fall 2018 Anime – SSSS.Gridman

Anime

Photo courtesy of Studio Trigger

SSSS.Gridman recalls the early days of anime’s mech genre. It includes staples like towering Kaiju behemoths and large-scale city destruction, presenting it to fans in a modern, 21st century setting. Protagonist Yuta Hibiki’s story begins when he comes across a computer that reads “Hyper Agent Gridman.” A character called Gridman appears before Yuta from then on, asking him to remember his calling in life.

Directed by the mind behind Gurren Lagann and animated by the studio responsible for this year’s hit show Darling in the FranxxSSSS.Gridman seeks to deliver on the fantastic pedigree of its genre. It pays homage to its roots while attempting to explore something new with its characters. Suffice it to say, this series holds a lot of potential.

Fall 2018 Anime – Sword Art Online: Alicization

Anime

Photo courtesy of A-1 Pictures

Sword Art Online: Alicization throws hero Kirito back into a virtual world, tasking him with raising souls born in this new digital realm. This medieval universe, called Underworld, erases all of the young man’s memories without his consent before he’s brought in, thereby also challenging the swordsman to rediscover who he is and rekindle the relationships he grew in the past. As Kirito meets another adventurer named Eugeo, parts of his former self begin to emerge, and the pair set out to find some truth to the world they inhabit.

Dedicated Sword Art Online fans will find the same thrilling action sequences, gorgeous visuals, and deep character development of prior iterations in Alicization, which isn’t much of a bad thing at all. The franchise is headed in a great direction if this season’s early entries serves as any indication.

Fall 2018 Anime – That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

Anime

Photo courtesy of Studio 8-Bit

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime sees a 37-year-old man named Satoru Mikami die brutally during a robbery after finishing work at his dead-end job. Instead of waking up to some kind of afterlife, the man is reincarnated as a slime monster in a mysterious fantasy world.

With the ability to steal anyone’s powers and a vast knowledge of the universe at his disposal, Satoru tasks himself with exploring this new reality to find some kind of meaning in his new life. At least it beats going back to the dreary human world he hated, right? That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime subverts some of the fantasy genre’s tropes by appealing to older anime fans. It’s strangely relatable and imaginative all at once.

Should the anime industry continue producing awesome shows like the ones above next season, we may all never see the light of day again. This fall alone caters to a wide variety of interests. Here’s hoping that the medium continues to pump out quality series as fans reach the end of 2018 and look forward to the thrilling animated entertainment that awaits them next year.